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Author Topic: Probably fine but...  (Read 1503 times)

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Offline neuroticmess

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Probably fine but...
« on: July 09, 2008, 09:31:59 AM »
Hello. First, Iíd like to praise this site and the moderators for providing so much information in a thoughtful and organized fashion. The work being done here is truly commendable. Iíve been able to look for and find answers to my questions but I still remain concerned about my situation and I hope to find some guidance and yes, even some comfort. Iím a 41 year old GWM who fairly recently ended a 12 year relationship. That relationship was completely monogamous. We were both HIV-. Over the last six months, Iíve engaged in maybe 5 or 6 casual encounters (I know, I know) with men, all claiming to be HIV negative. We engaged in mutual oral sex and I never allowed a partner to ejaculate in my mouth. Iím reasonably comfortable with this level of ďsaferĒ sex Ė or so I thought. Last week, I started feeling some discomfort in my neck and behind one of my knees. I initially attributed this to strenuous workouts but the discomfort lasted longer than it normally might. Stupidly, I searched the web on neck pain and found references to swollen lymph nodes and from there, my slightly neurotic mind leaped to the conclusion that Iíve contracted HIV and Iím sero-converting. I know this is unreasonable, I do not have a fever or any other symptoms but the mind is a funny thing and I seem to be dwelling on this. I know from reading this site that the likelihood of my contracting HIV is incredibly low Ė but I feel the need to test anyway. My last encounter was about a month ago so I have some time before testing would be conclusive. Iím hoping not to get too worked up over this so Iím thinking that opinions from these incredibly experienced moderators will help. If you tell me Iím fine, no risk, go away Ė I most likely will. Also, I know I was negative as of last December when I was tested for an insurance policy I was purchasing. In your opinions (and I think I already know the answer) am I at risk and should I be tested?

Thanks so much for your time!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Probably fine but...
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2008, 09:51:55 AM »
Neu, from what you have reported I don't see any cause for concern about HIV nor any need for testing at this time. Unfortunately, if you search long enough on the web you'll probably find that having a hangnail is a SIGN of HIV. Really. There's an awful lot of inaccurate and scary disinformation being shoveled out there.

As far as receiving oral is concerned there is absolutely no risk. Giving oral? There are the occasional reports of transmission that way and they never hold up under scientific scrutiny. On the other hand longterm studies
of sero-discordant couples, both gay and straight have consistently shown that lots of unprotected mutual oral and only protected intercourse have resulted in not a single sero-negative partner having become infected. So you have to decided what your comfort zone is with this issue.

If you have any symptoms which persist at anytime that's when you should talk with your doctor.

What we do recommend is that anyone who's sexually active ought to regularly have a full STD panel done. Other stds are much easier to acquire than HIV. And now that you're exploring becoming active again, just make sure that if you have anal intercourse whoever is the insertive partner always without exception is wearing a condom.

As far as HIV is concerned I don't see any cause for further worry or testing at this time.

Andy Velez

Offline neuroticmess

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Re: Probably fine but...
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2008, 05:26:06 PM »
Andy, Many thanks for the advice. I'm not sure what I expected - maybe - oh, your story is a little different so forget what I've said a million times before.  :) I will try to take your advice and not dwell. I'll probably have a test just to ease my mind but I think I'm going to lay off the casual encounters for a while. Thanks again - take care!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Probably fine but...
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008, 05:29:17 PM »
OK. Glad you found our exchange to be helpful.
Andy Velez


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